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Thread: Is USB mic upgrade worth it?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkingViking View Post
    Thanks!
    I am looking forward to comparing it to my shure Mv5.
    Not sure how much of a difference, but hey, it does stereo!
    Probably not audible stereo if the uke and vocals are on the same side of it, but still.
    The X/Y stereo mic technique, and hearing the separation of the left and right channels is heavily Dependant upon the placement and proximity of the mic itself to the source it is listening to.

    After recording you can use software to split your stereo track into 2 discrete mono tracks and pan them each hard to the extremes of one left and one right.

    The 'wideness' of the stereo sound field is also heavily dependent upon the listener's playback equipment.

    Most phones and tablets have either a tiny mono speaker or if stereo speakers, they are so close together that there is no separation at all.

    With headphones, the listener will have the best stereo experience, or with a home stereo, or computer speakers, placed at least 6 ft apart, with the listener sitting 6ft away, as if in an equilateral triangle.

    So, as one who is recording, we cannot always plan for the listeners to always have the optimum playback scenario, but we can plan for it to sound the 'best' this way and record for this way, and just be happy with that.
    This ═╣FAQ link╠═ will help you learn about many things.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    The X/Y stereo mic technique, and hearing the separation of the left and right channels is heavily Dependant upon the placement and proximity of the mic itself to the source it is listening to.

    After recording you can use software to split your stereo track into 2 discrete mono tracks and pan them each hard to the extremes of one left and one right.

    The 'wideness' of the stereo sound field is also heavily dependent upon the listener's playback equipment.

    Most phones and tablets have either a tiny mono speaker or if stereo speakers, they are so close together that there is no separation at all.

    With headphones, the listener will have the best stereo experience, or with a home stereo, or computer speakers, placed at least 6 ft apart, with the listener sitting 6ft away, as if in an equilateral triangle.

    So, as one who is recording, we cannot always plan for the listeners to always have the optimum playback scenario, but we can plan for it to sound the 'best' this way and record for this way, and just be happy with that.
    I realize that only few listeners will have a nice stereo speaker setup, but I think a lot of people listen to youtube through headphones - so it won't be completely wasted.
    I am not going to make a big deal of it, or try so post-produce steroe effects though. Since the Yeti has three capsules pointing in different directions, with different settings for different recordings, the stereo effect when recording on person is probably not going to be huge. If two persons were playing together, while located in different positions with respect to the mike, there would probably be an audible difference on the two tracks.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  3. #13
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    So, it arrived!

    The verdict:

    The Blue Yeti Blackout is surdenly bigger than the Shure MV5, so it must be better!

    Pros:

    It records at a higher volume. It probably also uses more power, so I am courious if it will work with a tablet as the MV5 does.

    It comes with a surprisingly long USB cable, more than 2m I guess, so I can place it further away from my PC. This is a nice feature, since my home PC is a desktop. Now I don't have to play in front of my desk!

    Sound-wise: I have to do more testing, also in cardioid mode, for a fair comparison. But I tried to compare it with the Shure. Whether it is the stereo recording or the quality of the capsules, there is more clarity, especially in the treble, when recording with the Yeti. Vocals come cleare through with more presence. Also, you can hear every little noise in the background.

    Cons: It is huge!
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkingViking View Post
    So, it arrived!

    The verdict:

    The Blue Yeti Blackout is surdenly bigger than the Shure MV5, so it must be better!

    Pros:

    It records at a higher volume. It probably also uses more power, so I am courious if it will work with a tablet as the MV5 does.

    It comes with a surprisingly long USB cable, more than 2m I guess, so I can place it further away from my PC. This is a nice feature, since my home PC is a desktop. Now I don't have to play in front of my desk!

    Sound-wise: I have to do more testing, also in cardioid mode, for a fair comparison. But I tried to compare it with the Shure. Whether it is the stereo recording or the quality of the capsules, there is more clarity, especially in the treble, when recording with the Yeti. Vocals come cleare through with more presence. Also, you can hear every little noise in the background.

    Cons: It is huge!
    The Yeti has a larger capsule inside of it than the Shure mic, and this will allow you to record in more detail, and as you've discovered it 'hears' you better. A larger capsule is more responsive to a wider range of frequencies as well as being more sensitive to sound pressure waves traveling in the open air.

    You can also mount the Yeti on a standard mic stand or boom arm clamped to your desk.

    Cardioid mode and closer proximity to the sound source (while turning DOWN the gain) will reduce most of the background noise while emphasizing what you intend to record.

    Cardioid mode is most effective at a distance of 6-8 inches from the sound source with the input gain set ~ -6db. If the recording is too soft, you can always apply a NORMALIZATION filter which will cleanly boost the overall volume of the recording without clipping or distortion as long as you do not set the NORMALIZATION threshold higher than 0 db (zero decibels), for above 0 db you will have clipping and that always sounds like garbage and will show your meters in the red.

    Mic placement is also critical. If you want to get a balanced volume with a single mic, of both your playing and singing into a single track, you need to play with the HEIGHT of the microphone.

    Low down by the sound hole will make the uke louder, and with the top of the mic at the level of your eyebrows will make your vocals louder and somewhere in the middle (depending how you hold your uke) will make the volume of both more even.

    Mic placement will do more for sound quality, sound levels, and eq than anything you can do post-processing after the fact. The axiom "Garbage in = Garbage out" applies fully with audio in both recording and performing.

    Mic technique is important to learn if you want to get clean and great sounding recordings.
    This ═╣FAQ link╠═ will help you learn about many things.
    You should click it, as the answers are waiting for you.

  5. #15
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    Reading the specs, the Shure Mv5 has one 16 mm capsule, the yeti three 14 mm capsules. So when it comes to size, the Shure should be plenty big, but some how still sounds a bit muffled in comparison.

    Thanks for the advice. I will try the cardioid setting some time, but I can't really record from that proximity very often, as I usually record ukulele and vocals simultaniously. When I try to get approximately the same distance to both sound sources, I easily end up almost two feet from the microphone.
    I think my go to setting will be stereo when I record like that. I will just have to avoid background noise by recording when my wife is not home :-)

    I don't plan on postproducing a whole lot. As you wrote, garbage in - garbage out. For now I will work on my playing and have a simple setup that allows me to just press record in Audacity.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkingViking View Post
    Reading the specs, the Shure Mv5 has one 16 mm capsule, the yeti three 14 mm capsules. So when it comes to size, the Shure should be plenty big, but some how still sounds a bit muffled in comparison.

    Thanks for the advice. I will try the cardioid setting some time, but I can't really record from that proximity very often, as I usually record ukulele and vocals simultaniously. When I try to get approximately the same distance to both sound sources, I easily end up almost two feet from the microphone.
    I think my go to setting will be stereo when I record like that. I will just have to avoid background noise by recording when my wife is not home :-)

    I don't plan on postproducing a whole lot. As you wrote, garbage in - garbage out. For now I will work on my playing and have a simple setup that allows me to just press record in Audacity.
    The best thing is to experiment and find what you like. Stereo mode works well too, just depends upon the room acoustics as to what it will sound like.

    My recommendations only come from my experience as a sound engineer, but everyone has their own preferences.

    The main thing is to just keep making music, for that is what brings light into the world and makes people happy.
    This ═╣FAQ link╠═ will help you learn about many things.
    You should click it, as the answers are waiting for you.

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